AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - Augusta Technical College graduates said they were moving to new places, on to their careers, or to another college for more schooling.

The James Brown Arena also has plans to move on with a planned demolition this summer and eventual rebuild.

Graduate Ramez Khoja says he is taking it all in, his graduation and the final event in the James Brown Arena.

 “It’s very fitting that Augusta Technical College has the last event here because over the years Augusta Tech has progressed so far and this being torn down is just the beginning of something more beautiful in Augusta. Which is what Augusta Tech is doing, it’s just consistently getting better and better and I’m proud to call this place my home,” said Khoja.

Opening in 1980, and first known as the Civic Center, the James Brown Arena has hosted multiple events over the years, including the Harlem Globe Trotters, Cirque de Soleil, and Disney on Ice.

Now for the last time, the JBA welcomed Augusta Technical College’s commencement ceremony.

 “This is really a historic moment to be the last event here at the James Brown Arena and I’m just excited to be a part of it,” said graduate, Emily Pinto.

Then they close its doors to prepare for demolition later this summer and eventually breaking ground on the new arena.

Emily Pinto first went into a career field that was not quite right for her, then decided to go to Augusta Tech to find her passion. The says she feels a connection between her story and the JBA’s.

“I definitely think my story is very similar to the story of the James Brown Arena because the JBA is a beautiful wonderful place, but is ready to move on to bigger better things just as I am as well,” said Pinto

While it may be a bittersweet moment to wave goodbye to the current JBA,

Brad Usry with the Augusta Coliseum Authority is looking forward to wowing the community with the brand-new arena.

 “It’s an exciting time for the community and I’m glad we have some positivity energy and it looks like the old arena will be going down in July and in two years this time we will be cutting the ribbon on the new arena,” said Usry

Right now the plans are to demolish the current JBA on July 25th. Officials say once they start going vertical, it should be a 2 year project with shows in the arena by the end of 2026.